Carbs are not the enemy.
Why have carbohydrates become the enemy to so many people? Is there any logic behind it? Or are carbs an unfairly maligned scapegoat?
With our title giving it away, you probably already know what we think. Carbs are not the enemy, no macronutrient is! But as always, the answer is not quite as black and white as some would have you believe. We need carbs in our diet and cutting it out can be hard and unnecessary.
Carbohydrates are natural compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They are broken down in the body to provide energy. The main forms of carbohydrate are:
Carbohydrates are one of the four macronutrients. A gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories. This is the same as protein, and less than fat.
While complex carbohydrates are obviously better for most situations, there are some scenarios where carbohydrates are useful. Such as during high intensity exercise or during a long distance event such as a marathon. Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for your body, they fuel your body during exercise, they help you to think clearly when working, and fibrous carbohydrates are essential for healthy digestion and gut health.
We obviously have to be clever with our intake of carbs. Carbs can lead to obesity.
47-64% of your calories should come from carbohydrates if you want to have the lowest risk of becoming overweight. These carbs should mostly come from healthy sources:
- Whole grains
But a mix of less healthy high-carb foods can also make up a healthy diet, provided that they are not overrepresented. One area that you should practice caution though is high-sugar drinks. These can be fine in moderation, but they are also easily overconsumed as they are high in calories but won’t affect hunger.